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my laptop battery problem
shows wrong percentage

 3:38 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)


I have an IBM R40 series P4 laptop. I bought a new battery for it eight months ago from USA. It used to give me 3 hours backup for using internet only and not multimedia applications.

But for the last two days, it has started to behave differently. The laptop is switched off after 40 minutes only while the batter is still showing 50% remaining.

I asked a laptop expert here and he said that i might have used laptop by direct current, while the battery being charged 100%..

Yes I did this. Because without direct current the laptop doesn't display with full brightness so i use it with direct current while the battery is attached.

Does that really make a difference? and also has my battery hurt or i can fix it with some trick?

thank you



 6:19 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

1) Check that your power settings are correct. If they are...
2) Fully run down the battery then shutdown/switch off (under mains power if necessary) and remove the battery.
3) Start up and shutdown on mains power only.
4) Insert the battery, switch on and allow it to charge fully.

Do not use "hibernate" at any point.

If the battery is ok, there is a reasonable chance that the actions above clear the problem.



 7:53 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do you have an auxiliary battery installed in one of the UltraBay slots?

IBM notebooks can get confused when you have multiple batteries installed and one of them goes bad. Keep in mind that they discharge one battery first, (I think the aux) then the other (main). It doesn't draw from both batteries at the same time.

If your aux battery is good, but the main one is bad, things will seem normal until you get to 40-50%, then drop off a cliff when it switches batteries.

You should be able to view the design capacity and current capacity ("current" as in "at this time", not as in "electrical current"), though it can be a pain to find. (Sorry, I don't have I notebook in front of me.)

My 2001-issue A31p main battery finally got down to 10% of the original capacity, and the aux battery was down to 50%. No problems since I replaced them both.


 2:45 pm on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do not have any aux battery.

thank you Kaled, i will follow your steps and will get back to you with the results.


 12:33 pm on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

i followed your all steps but of no use. the battery flirts with me :) it shows 40% plus remaining and laptop suddenly switches off. the battery goes down....


 12:56 pm on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sounds like there is probably a physical problem with the battery. Since it is less than a year old, it should be in guarantee, otherwise, you'll have to bite the bullet and buy a new one.

My Toshiba laptop used to cut out at about 30% but the battery struggled on for a couple of years after that before it died completely.



 3:49 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also think my battery has damaged. But I want to confirm one thing for future use. When you use laptop it gets hot with the passage of time. The bottom of the laptop, which is normally on a table surface or glass etc, is not open to fresh air. Does that make any damage? because whenever my laptop gets hot I get tensed but i cant hold it in the hand and let the fresh air cool the bottom side...

Also I use laptop with direct line, as at least my IBM R40 series shows dim screen without direct power line. So I use it on direct line and on power failure I do not lose my work since laptop switches on the battery automatically.

So what I want to ask is that,

1 - does the battery get damaged with the heating problem?
2 - does the direct power line damages the battery life?

thank you


 3:55 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can you not change the brightness in the power settings? On My Laptop I can change the power consumption when not plugged in which changes brightness and speed settings.


 5:02 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

If your notebook is that hot, you should worry about more than just the battery.

You may have an accumulation of dust or a failing fan. (If you had a failed fan, either diagnostics should have caught it, or else the CPU would be long-dead by now.)


 6:03 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it's the same problem, but I thought it worth mentioning.
I had a colleague with a battery issue, on an IBM machine, or so they thought, It wasn't the battery, it was the battery software. Once the software was disabled, the problem went away.


 11:40 pm on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have an R50e and have always used it on mains power with the battery plugged in (except those few occasions I needed to use batteries). It has a Celeron-M processor (1.4 Ghz) and it does not get more than warm (in the UK) even when used on mains power on my lap.

In contrast, my Dell Inspiron (dual-core AMD Turion) does get pretty hot but that may be down to a more powerful graphics chip.

It is certainly worth trying a can of compressed air to blow dust out of the fan (or even opening up the case - instructions may be available on the IBM website - they are for the R50e). However, if it always ran hot even when new, that is unlikely to be the cause of the problem. You could also check CPU usage (using Task Manager).

If the battery is coolish, even if the laptop is hot, then it is unlikely to have been damaged by heat.



 3:46 pm on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

why don't u try with another one ( may be your friends)and if that also gives you the same means check the battery slot of your laptop


 9:07 pm on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

The IBM instructions for disassembly and reassembly are pretty good.

I opened-up my A31p and blew out the dust, no problem.

I think most people will get to a point where they feel uncomfortable with going further, and (hopefully) stop.

If I had a reason, (I don't) I might go as far as a CPU chip upgrade. I went ALMOST that far to clean the thing out, but didn't want to remove the heatsink, as I'm not sure where my heatsink goop is...

Some of the mods you see around can get pretty hairy - for example, installing a WiFi card in some of the units that don't come with them. Routing the antenna if it isn't there already can require a LOT of disassembly.

Removing the keyboard is surprisingly non-scary, but you do need to follow the instructions - you would never figure it out on your own. IBM is pretty slick mechanically - I've admired their X-Series servers in the past, and now I see the notebooks are just as elegant.

I do think I may replace my old slow 802.11b card with an 802.11g. I will have to give-up the modem port for that, though. Who uses a modem? They don't make a G/modem card that will go in my machine.

Cound just get a Cardbus serial card if I ever have the need. I'd rather have the G and Bluetooth built-in.

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